The practice of carrying out research is an acquired skill. Everyone has to learn it, although traditionally most of it is self-taught. This course is designed to provide students with guidance, structure, and feedback that will help them to frame and execute well-specified and coherent research projects on American political behavior. The seminar also offers students an opportunity to work through their ideas and test their arguments in an informal, small, and collegial setting. Students will present their own research, comment on the research of their peers, and learn about different types of feedback mainly through example.
The workshop provides a forum for students to improve how they think about conducting research projects, to workshop early work, conference papers, and ideas for MA or PhD proposals, and, finally, to develop a community in which they can work through specific practices for research and problems that arise in conducting their projects. These main aims of the workshop are met through a forum in which faculty and graduate students at various career stages work closely together. It is an applied workshop with an emphasis on learning by doing and on learning how to be a more constructive colleague. Rather than segregate PhD students by cohort, the workshop is designed to bring cohorts together in order to facilitate the student-to-student transfer of skills and knowledge.